Study isn't reading. Study isn't even the scholarly part of research, although it can be loosely called that. The reason for the study is where we find the definition.
Why does a Christian study? Is it something like memorizing? Memorize the Bible so you can quote it extensively to "the lost." No. We knew that, huh?
Study should end in a better understanding of either God or the Bible. Now, my definition of understanding is , knowing the subject well enough to be able to "teach" it to others.
Folks think that going through the Bible, reading the commentaries, looking up words, and making notes is where it ends. You and I both know what happens to those notes. They go on whatever pile is the shortest.
The above is still valuable. Let's not throw out the baby. It's just that the study doesn't GO anywhere. It's supposed to. Some will argue that the “loose” knowledge and understanding can go somewhere. “I can tell other people what I’ve read.” The top of the head is not a credible source.
We're not fulfilling our God-given task of telling others about His coming Kingdom if we just put those notes aside. Our objective isn’t to be the most well informed believers, but not share that info. Let me quickly insert that I'm not talking about evangelism. I’m dead set against ANY kind of “personal” initiation.
The best way to give others information is to be able to present enough evidence to get them going on their own. That means "teaching" them, putting the info in a form that will be motivating. I've not found notes to be very motivating. Reading notes is like reading a grocery list or the phone book.
Those notes take on a whole new life when considered in the light of "teaching." They may still wind up on a pile, but they can easily be dusted off and give someone something of value.
I've said before, that when you get "good" enough at something, someone will come around to ask you about it. It's the reverse of that old saying, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."
When a person knows enough to teach, someone’s going to show up with a question. And I'll add that when one teacher runs out of help for you, another "teacher" will show up. Of course, that'll happen because the Holy Spirit giving you a nudge in that person's direction.
We don't stay in one place.
The thing that will help you faithe more than anything else is study. You may want to knee-jerk that you believe God is real, but that belief has to be reinforced and enlarged. Otherwise the next faith challenge that God gives you may discourage you so much that you decide to take the easy way out.
Take time to learn more about God. That’s it. At least that's the way it's been for me. Take a look at my web site and you'll see that most of the pages are subjects that prove God's reality. The Stars, The Pyramid, Gematria, The Lost Tribes
My constant suggestion to folks is to really study Faithing and the Lost Tribes. Faithing opens up the whole New Testament, and the Lost Tribes opens the Old and some in the New. Faithing saves us, and the LT proves that the Bible is true and God is really there and will save us.
I tell folks to go through the New Testament replacing all the words "faith" with the word "action." Then stop and ask, "What's the action here?"
With the Lost Tribes, it's going thru the Old T and noting all the House of Israel, and all the other names that are given to them, and note that it's England and the US that is being talked about. A simple flash of our general knowledge of world history, then, can check the fulfillment of that prophecy.
For instance, I got an email one night that was questioning the early church in Britain, and how that connected with the Lost Tribes. The short answer is that God assigned the Israelites, all 12 Tribes, to witness to the world of His reality and coming kingdom. The Jews are obviously not proselytizing for God. Who then is getting the word of God's coming kingdom, the Millennium, out to the world? England, the US with help from NW Europe.
The House of Israel study also clarifies Jesus' mission. He came to bring the New Covenant, faithing, to be brought to the rest of the world, along with the message that God was going to set up a kingdom here. He says, more than once, that the message was to go to the House of Israel. Without the Lost Tribes teaching, it's easy to think he meant the Jews. Simple logic tells us he wasn't sent for the Jews. They rejected him. Notice that all his disciples, but one, were not Jews by heritage. They weren’t from the tribe of Judah. They were Benjamite-Gallilean-Israelites. The one Judah-Israelite was the Jew, Judas, who also "rejected" Christ.
One of the great bible scholars of the day, Chuck Missler, doesn't recognize this. As a result, he gives out bad info and has to twist scripture to found his view. He says the LT being England and the US is really a myth. The Israelites all returned. That just turns out not to be true. In order to promote that argument, one must disregard the word “remnant.” If you check the places where it talks about the return of the Israelites from the Babylonian captivity, or the migration of the Israelites to the southern kingdom, you’ll find the word remnant. What is a remnant? A little piece leftover. My guess is that there weren’t more than a couple hundred thousand Israelites that stayed with the kingdom of Judah, while probably five or six million Israelites were deported, relocated north to the Black and Caspian seas by the Assyrians.
Spend as much time as you can learning about God. I suggest that you set up a condition to faithe. The condition is that you set aside a definite time, say a couple hours a week to start, when it's your God Time. This time is to be treated by others as time when you've gone out of town. You are completely UNavailable.
Very soon into this practice, something/one will try to subvert your God Time. This is where it gets to be faithing. The time itself is a small faithe, cuz you could be doing something "more productive." But the faithing really comes when something that's important, or very exciting, etc. wants to pull you away.
It's really about commitment. Keeping our word is one of the ways that we faithe. Lots of time it's not comfortable to keep our word. We don't like to take responsibility for our actions, but every word that comes out of our mouths should be treated as though it was the same as when something comes out of God's mouth. It's a done deal. We must realize that the way we grow trust in a relationship is by keeping our word. I know of no other to promote trust in others.
God's in a much better position than we are, though. Whatever comes out of His mouth happens. We have to act it out. It's interesting. Faithfulness is faithing.
If you don't study and learn more about God, how can you show Him off to anyone? CS Lewis says that our main job as Christians is to show off God to each other. I guarantee that there will come a time in your study when you have learned so much about a certain subject that God will send someone to you with a question.
Try to put a practical look on the leading of the spirit. The Holy Spirit leads someone to a higher Truth, not to a fuller ignorance. The Holy Spirit doesn’t lead us to frauds or idiots. And let me add here that those who denounce study are completely in error. “Well done, my son. You have read the Bible all the way through. You may enter heaven.” See how ridiculous that sounds? God would never tell someone not to study His word. It's his instruction book to us. Dr. Scott has taught with scripture that God says He uses Scripture/Words to bless us.
When you prove the Bible, you prove God.
For any one who doesn’t know Greek or Hebrew, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance is the first tool on my list.
Second, an interlinear of both the Old and New Testaments will be valuable. An interlinear will show the verse in three ways; the Greek, with the “rough” English words beneath, and a grammatically correct rendering on the side. Some interlinears will have a weak translation, but the Greek and the literal English will most likely be correct.
Now add to the above a good Bible dictionary, a Greek and Hebrew lexicon, and a pile of commentaries. I wouldn’t bother, ‘till much later, comparing the many English translations. Going to the original language is more direct. You may compare six or seven translations and find that all but one say the same thing. That one may be the only one that’s true to the writer’s meaning, but you’ll conclude that the weight of numbers shows the right thought.
Moffet, Knox and Williams and many others give the word “in” for Galatians 2:16, where it talks about how we are justified. The King James says “of”. Going to the Greek clears up the issue. Faith, in Greek, is a verb, an action. If “faith” is a verb, then it is an action. The erroneous translations lead us to believe that it’s our “faith in Jesus.” But look what happens when we substitute the word “action” for “faith.” Moffet would read, “…a man is justified simply by “action” in Jesus….” That doesn’t make sense. It’s not acting in Jesus’ name. Who can figure out how to act IN Jesus?
But look at the KJV. “…. That we might be justified by the “action” of Jesus.” Even if we have to stop and figure out what action that is, it still makes sense. We’ll do a little study on this below.
There is no substitute for the Bible. As many wonderful expositors and commentators as there are, nothing beats looking it up for yourself. Here’s a case in point.
I have received praise for my book “Fifty Pieces”. Some have hailed it as “life saving”. The only reason such a small treatment of faith can evoke such a reaction is that, though small, it’s Truth. I think Truth is the most attractive thing in the physical universe. It even beats out Power.
Fifty Pieces is such a small part of the Christian walk. I've put down a few little practical things about faithing. But you're never going to prove God through Fifty Pieces. You'll never get the courage to faithe(tithe) from Fifty Pieces.
You can get that and more from the Bible. But you need some way to get back to the original. Christianity is a walk of study. It's the way we build our faith/belief/confidence. And believe me, I'd rather strengthen my faith by a little tedious study to than have God do it. I'd rather take the lumps a little at a time rather than all at once.
The Bible says “from faith to faith.” One meaning of that, I'm sure you've heard. From this act of faith today, to the next one, which will be a little harder. Some say, “ever increasing faith.” We're in training. The training is faith challenges. And they keep getting bigger, so we'll get stronger. The end of the process is "perfection." Have you known anyone who got perfect before they died? :-) These faithing challenges continue till we die.
Strength, confidence and courage result from the study of evidence. Once a person is literally saturated in the study of the Lost Tribes, they can never again have any effective doubts about God's reality. And I believe that you can prove God as well or better with the Lost Tribes than you can prove the resurrection. It is hard to find even the mention of Jesus as a real person in most histories. Books on the movements of the Celt and Scythians (the Lost Tribes) would fill a library.
Since we’re not omniscient like God, and can’t study everything, we’ll need to depend on other researchers that have preceded us. But, checking someone else’s work is vastly easier than doing the original research on your own. But we need to be able to check up on what other folks say. We need to be able to check up on what some preachers preach. We need as many tools as we can get to see us through times of confusion, adversity, and fear. And maybe most important, we need to know what we're talking about.
Christianity isn't a covert walk. It doesn't sit in the house. If you've got the Spirit in your life, you're going to be seen making God available to others. I don't mean witnessing. That’s just bad evangelism, promoted by fear driven fundamentalists who have to be better. My advice? Don’t ever initiate any God stuff with others. Always let the subject be brought up by the other person. It's the only way to leave a clear path for the Spirit to guide the person. "The Initiator ALWAYS has an agenda."
Christianity is a word of mouth belief system. The Bible says that faith comes by hearing, and that it’s hearing the Word of God, not hearing yourself, hearing your idea of scripture or guessing at some meaning.
How can you be God’s instrument to provoke faith in another person if you don’t know enough to prove God’s Word? It’s very difficult to gain respect (trust) when talking with authority from an obvious position of ignorance. Be careful what you say to others. They may know more about it than you. And, horrors, not tell you.
I’ll extend what Paul says in Romans 12:1 by saying that study is our “reasonable service.” We’re working for God. How can we work for someone we don’t fully believe if real?
What are you going to do when someone asks you a question? Don't think about having to know all the answers. That doesn't apply when the Spirit's involved. It's more like this. You've been doing a lot of study on a certain subject. The Spirit knows that. He inspires the person to ask about the thing you know, or know most about. Folks don't ask questions about God by accident, right? Who's to say that the Spirit didn't inspire that question?
If I could only have one reference book, it would be Strong's. Then I'd get a Greek and a Hebrew interlinear so I could see the original words set up in verses. And see the "rough" English words below. A good Bible dictionary or encyclopedia would be next.
Memorization doesn’t impart understanding. Understanding contains enough evidence to present a credible idea, which will result in individual research.
“Hey. I’ve read the Bible all the way through. I’ve already heard about the Lost Tribes. I even went to your web site and read all your pages on the subject.” As I said at the start, reading isn’t Study.
Repetition is necessary for remembering enough facts to be able to personally introduce someone to God. Even recommending a true domata, the Greek word for a “gift minister” (Ephesians 4:7-12), takes away the personal contact, and too many times goes unheeded. The recommendation doesn’t contain enough evidence to inspire research on the hearer’s part.
When asked, we need to know enough to get beyond the initial skepticism of the asker. Your personal store of knowledge adds credibility to your position.
The question I ask is "What are you studying?"
What are you doing to prove the Bible, prove God, find out what the original language is for some pivotal verse, like John 3:16. I haven’t read many of the great scholars, but I revere CS Lewis as the top Christian apologist ever. When it comes to Christian life, no one tells it more accurately than CS Lewis. But, as good as CS Lewis is, he's not the Bible. Remember what were here for, to advance the knowledge of the coming Kingdom. That takes study. There are lots of things that go into that knowledge. It's not just what the Millennium is going to be like.
It's about the fact that there is going to be one.
Well, if one doesn't study, one can't answer a question. If one can't answer a question, one can't govern. I've talked before about study. I think study is one of the lost messages of the church. Despite the fact that probably 98% of churches will vehemently claim to have MANY studies going on at any one time.
I can't pass God on, if I can't demonstrate His existence and faithfulness. That kind of stuff isn't done in a minute. Plus, it has nothing to do with proper behavior or evangelizing my neighbors.
I listen to some Christian programming and hear nothing but behavior and evangelism. I heard a guy one day tell how it was fun for him to work as a dishwasher because he got to witness to such different people. He said the same for a couple other menial jobs he named. So many sincere people are being lead astray by other sincere people. Did I ever mention the long time church-going lady I asked to tell me what the Gospel was? After a considerable pause she said, "Love." She didn’t have a clue. She was only responding with what little there was hanging around on the top of her head.
I was at one church for a little over two years and attended ALL of the only seven Bible studies that were held in that time. Four of those were my presentations. Three short, twenty minute classes in two and half years? What kind of study is that?
Christianity is lost, deep in a dark forest of Ignorance and Misdirection.
There are so many areas to find God in. One approach, not my first choice, would be to go down the list of topics I've got on my site and get all the books and confirm the material
The more I thought of how to help someone study, the more it became clear that it would be better to focus on the why of study. This is not the why we've talked about above, it's next level up form that. Study enough to teach is still in effect. It underpins all your study.
But as far as specific topics, the objective is to learn more about God or the Bible. So before those options above, I'd suggest that one do some translation. Find out what the Bible says.
This way you get to choose the topic. I think that leaves one open for the Spirit to work.
What do I mean by translate? "Translate English into English?" Well, technically, yes. You'll find what I mean by going to my Bible Studies at the top of the Study list on my Home page. There are four books "translated" there. Using the method I used for working those books, work some passage, chapter, etc. that attracts you, puzzles you, etc. and find out what it says behind the English.
This is the tedious part of study. It's not fun like reading some Jeremiah history. You wind up looking up, in as many places as you have available, all the words in the passage. You have to follow them down to their roots. Note all the different meaning or shades that are tacked onto the final word. You'll use your Strong's, a Bible dictionary, a Greek or Hebrew lexicon, if you know how to use one. Then you might get a few commentaries on the passage and check your work with those authors. A good English dictionary and the couple interlinear books would be good too.
After you put all the meanings in the verse, do a re-write to make it readable.
Viola! You've translated the Bible.
Take a look at the Romans page. I think you'll be able to see how to proceed through the study. But if not, drop me an email and I'll give you an outline. Basically, I said it above. If you are working with more than a passage, then you'll want to break the chapter into the complete thoughts. You'll see this in the first chapter of Romans. I found five separate passages in that chapter.
We need the reinforcement that this kind of work affords. We have to be able to lean back on the Bible when it gets thick. So we have to be sure we know what it says
OK. We’ve walked around the Study bush long enough. Time to do some work. I mentioned this study above, but I want to detail it out. It’ll change your life. They will help you understand the two most important facts about Christianity. One, God’s reality, two, how to get to Him. These two studies should appear on any list of the first five most important topics of the Bible. Faith and the Lost Tribes will do both of those for you..
Start at the beginning of the New Testament and put a line through all the words “faith” and above write “action.” A couple examples are Matthew 8:10 and Luke 8:48.
We could easily believe that the Centurion in Mt 8:10 had enough belief to trust that Jesus could heal his servant just by saying it was so, instead of going all the way to the Centurion’s house. We’d be right, but we wouldn’t understand what Jesus said to him. Jesus didn’t commend the Centurion’s belief. He commended his action in telling Jesus that he could do the healing from a distance. The action contained the belief. That’s why we can so easily read it the wrong way. But the Centurion believed just as strongly before he sought out Jesus. If it was the Centurion's belief that healed his servant, why wasn't the servant healed before the Centurion talked to Jesus?
The same thing goes for the woman with the issue of blood in Luke 8:48. When Jesus told her that her “faith has made you whole,” he was referring to her action of coming to him and touching the hem of his garment. Without that action, she would have been home bleeding in spite of her belief.
Remember above where I mentioned the “faith of Jesus?” Let’s see what that really means. We know it was some action that Jesus did that justifies us. Was that healing the blind man, or raising Lazarus from the dead? Those were pretty spectacular actions. But I don’t think they carry over to affect our lives. Justified can be thought of as saved. “Jesus saves.” What did Jesus do that affected all of humanity? He was crucified.
They didn’t come a forcibly take him away. Remember what he said to Peter after he put the Temple guard’s ear back on? “I could call legions of angels.” Jesus could have stopped the process ending in his death at any time he wanted. He went willingly. He chose the action. His faith act made our salvation possible. Briefly, his action was based on the belief that God would and could keep His word to raise Jesus up after three days. That’s a faith act. An Act, containing a Belief, in which we have enough confidence to carry the act to the end. That’s faithing.
But here’s a really interesting part. Galatians 2:16 also says, “even we have believed….that we might be justified.” That starts to sound like only belief is necessary. But that’s not what Paul was saying. Belief is THE SAME as faith. Another part of this study that substitutes “action” for “faith”, is substituting “action” for “belief.” The Greek word used for all the “belief” words has the same root as the word for faith. Apply that to Paul’s statement and we see that he said, “…even we have acted on our belief…” What a difference.
Now let’s do the same thing with the Old Testament. We’ll go through mostly the prophets and substitute for all the different names that are given to the House of Israel. This is a specific group of people and not, as commonly thought, all the Tribes. The House of Israel is ONLY the ten Tribes of the northern kingdom. The southern kingdom was called the house of Judah.
Hosea, chapter one is a very good place to work this exercise. This book is a pretty complete history of the House of Israel. And just to make sure we aren’t confused as to whom Hosea is talking about, he mentions the House of Judah.
Briefly, there are five major points that describe the doings of the House of Israel. Hosea is told to marry and name his three children. One is called “scattered”, one “not having mercy” and the third as “not My people”. In other words, not being consciously connected to God. They were always Israelites, but at some point would not remember it. Then in verse 10 it says that those folks would number like the sand of the sea, AND they would be known as being connected to God in the place whereto they were scattered.
We must insert here that a certain Tribe has always been known as connected to the God of the Bible. The Jews. They have always said that they were the folks of the Bible. The only other group that professes connection to the God of the Bible is the Christians. But they don’t go as far as the Jews and say that they are descended from those Bible folks. That’s their big mistake.
This exercise has us substituting the words England and the USA for all the different names given to the House of Israel. Ephraim, Samaria, House of Jacob, House of Joseph, House of Isaac, Jacob, Joseph are all terms used.
The reason the Jews can’t apply to this exercise is that they weren’t given the promises of God that were passed on with the birthright of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In Genesis 49, Jacob give almost everything to Joseph. Josephs’ family, Ephraim and Manasseh, are the ones that head up the House of Israel. To Judah, the Jews, Jacob only gave the right to rule the whole family and to maintain God’s Law for the family. Joe got ALL the good stuff.
So when Hosea talks about things pertaining to the House of Israel, he means only the Ten Tribes of the northern kingdom. And England and the US have fulfilled Hosea’s prophecy. THEY are the ones known as “the sons of the living God.” The House of Israel became the Scythians and the Celts. The house of Israel was scattered all over the British Isles and northwest Europe. They were mostly pagan worshippers, without God’s mercy, and had no idea, still don’t, that they were descended from the Bible folks. And yet, they grew into a worldwide population of over a billion, AND, as Christians, are know as the people of God.
You may find my page called The Book of Israel interesting. The whole book of Israel (Isaiah) is about the House of Israel and it’s connection to the Messiah.
The study of “faith’ will open up the whole New Testament to you, and let you really understand salvation. The exercise of the lost tribes will open up the Old Testament AND help you see that the Bible is indeed the inspired word of God. No human, like those Prophets, could make up 2500-year prophecies that have come true.
Let me end with an example of a prophecy that you can see fulfilled by just your general knowledge of history. Abraham and Isaac’s wife, Rebecca, were given a strange promise. They were told that their descendents would “possess the gates of their enemies.” Remember that this will be a worldwide phenomenon. On a world scale, what are the main “gates” to world travel and trade? I know you can say Suez and Panama, Gibraltar, the African Cape and the Falklands. Those passages are all “owned” by England and the US.
Study. It’s the only way to pass God on. And it might be said to be the only way to salvation.
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